wjfarm

Pumpkin Harvest Day 2013

In Events, Kids on the Farm on November 2, 2013 at 8:36 am

IMAG2808

The “pumpkin patch” pre-invasion!

Every year the culmination of the year’s growing season is our Harvest Day parade when the whole school celebrates the last day of October. As the school parades around our community in fancy dress, the Pre-School and Pre-Kindergarten classes peel off and make their way to the Farm to harvest pumpkins.

Throughout the growing season (seeds planted July 14th, pumpkins cut form the vine October 21st to cure ~ see Inside the Numbers for a few more details) our youngest students have been following the progress of their pumpkins from the first flowers (an important concept introduced at that time is dioecy where members of the Cucurbitaceae family have both male and female flowers), pollination (our Farm’s honeybees and native bumblebee species always oblige with frequent visits to pumpkin flowers as instruction is ongoing), how the female flowers ovaries swell up to become future fruit, and the importance of beta-carotene in a balanced diet (“different colors on your dinner plate”) and whilst the botany of farm crops can become rather complex, “sowing the seeds” of certain biological concepts in young minds helps build a strong foundation for their science knowledge.

IMG-20120827-00679

Members of the Cucurbitaceae are dioecious, having both male and female flowers

IMG-20120830-00698

One of our native pollinators (there are about 4,000 species of native bee in North America) searching for pollen and nectar

IMG-20120829-00689

First fruits (technically a botanical “berry”)~ with successful pollination and fertilization, the ovary on the female flower starts to swell and the petals fall

In addition, supported by a few well-chosen books, the pumpkin crop allows us to also introduce a number of other natural history concepts (Ten Seeds by Ruth Brown ~ “root”, “shoot”, “seedling”) and to continue to develop community values (Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper ~ teamwork, friendship, and the fact that pumpkins are not just for carving at Hallowe’en but bona-fide edible crops that provide nutrition too!)

9781849392518_p0_v1_s260x420

tenseeds2

Pumpkin SOup

pumpkin-prv-4-312198

But in the end, the day’s main event created some of their strongest memories!

IMAG2810

IMAG2829

IMAG2831

IMAG2835

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: